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GH’s Genie Francis Addresses Laura’s Controversial Storyline From the Past

Photo: ABC

During ABC’s Winter Press Tour for the Television Critics Association (TCA) in Pasadena, California, several of the stars of General Hospital along with head writers, Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor and series executive producer, Frank Valentini, took part in a panel discussion as part of the GH’s upcoming 60th anniversary milestone celebration.

Throughout the panel, the cast and creatives fielded questions from the press.  At one point, Genie Francis (Laura) was asked about GH’s representation of social issues over the decades, and about the controversial rape of Laura by Luke (Tony Geary) back in 1979.

Photo: ABC

As GH viewers know, Luke, who believed he was going to be killed by mobster Frank Smith, and had fallen for Laura, danced with with her at the Campus Disco to Herb Alpert’s Rise.  Luke, eventually forced himself on Laura and raped her.  However, later GH wrote the enduring love story of Luke and Laura, and the event was left murky in the storytelling including at one point having it called a “seduction”.

Francis addressed the issue head on telling reporters: “You mentioned the date-rape issue.  I had a feeling I was going to be asked about that.  You know, as a young kid at 17, I was told to play rape, and I played it.  I didn’t even know what it was.  But, at 17, you follow the rules, and you do as you are told, and you aim to please.  At 60, I don’t feel the need to defend that anymore, you know.  I think that the story was inappropriate, and I don’t condone it.  And it’s been a burden that I’ve had to carry to try to justify that story, and so I’m not doing that anymore.  I think, when a woman says ‘No,’ that she should be listened to, and if you replay that scene, you don’t have Laura just saying ‘No.’  You have her screaming ‘No.”

As to the current writing and portrayal of Laura Collins, the Daytime Emmy-winning TV icon shared: “I feel very, very fortunate to have this new reinvented Laura.  I love who she is in the present day.  She was such a victim as a young woman, and to see it flip around and have her be fully empowered, this powerful woman who is the mayor of the town.  She doesn’t take crap from anyone.  She’s a strong woman.  She’s a good role model for other women.  But I love my Laura today.  I loved my Laura then too, but this is where it needed to go.”

What do you think about Genie’s response to the long-standing controversial rape storyline? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Nancy FosterFginaspyDanroseIakovos Recent comment authors
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Kay
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Kay

Well Genie I agree we are still doing it Y&R writing a love story between rapist Chelsea and Her victim Billy. The worst part is Jason Thompson trying to defend it. But Y&R stinks so bad no way that show recovering NONE.

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

Kay
That was so long ago, I don’t know if we actually saw that happen, but Billy had to have participated or no Johnny.
Remembering many years ago Tricia Dennison, a real loony tunes drugged Victor with Roofies and Viagra and raped him and she set it up claiming he raped and assaulted her, but with the Newman luck he got himself cleared but that was a good story, I wonder how many fans remember that SL?

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

Amen Genie Francis.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Is there video of this panel anywhere?

I loved Genie’s answer about the rape. It’s disgusting that a 17 year old was made to play a rape scene by the people running the show at the time. I’m not even sure how something like that was allowed to happen. Thank god we’ve evolved as a people since then.

I bet Genie is beyond tired of having to answer questions about this after all these years. It’s like that moment is the only thing that has ever happened to her character in 43 years. Hopefully everyone can move on.

Michael (not Fairman)
Guest
Michael (not Fairman)

And bravissima to Genie for being unwilling to play along, any longer, with the rewrite. I saw the original scene, and I remember it exactly as Genie does–and yet over the years I’ve begun to feel gaslighted because of the insistence that I didn’t see what I know I saw. I really appreciate Genie’s validation of that. And like her, I’m really pleased at who Laura has become. And grateful–because whenever they give her the material, GF really delivers. She is a force of nature. I’m sure she always was, but as she sort of said, most of her early… Read more »

rose
Guest
rose

Michael (not Fairman)…some like you may remember, but another example of an over-the-top sex scene was between Carly and Sonny when they first got together. Not needed either, or conveniently forgotten.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Thanks for the reply and the context, Michael (not Fairman). You go back much longer than me as a viewer, so I appreciate the insight! I remember seeing the rape scene for the first time years later, and just how dirty and disgusting it made me feel. The disco lights flashing, Herb Alpert’s song “Rise” playing in the background, the way Laura screamed “NO!” Just hideous, hideous stuff. I’ve always heard such good things about Gloria Monty as an executive producer and about how she saved the show. But to know that she was the one responsible for pushing that… Read more »

Nancy Foster
Guest
Nancy Foster

I watched G H until that scene then stopped. I agree with Gene’s statement. Todays climate would not allow that scene to be shot. Our judgment was different back then. I admire her as a women and Actor.

The Other Lis
Guest
The Other Lis

How many prople remember that prior to the rape 16 year old Laura was seduced by her stepfathers 40 + year old best friend and that she later murdered him when she found out he only slept with her to get revenge on her stepfather. Laura was in therapy for the murder when she was raped by Luke another age inappropriate male. Very toxic time with storylines that would never play out today. Imagine teenage Genie Francis in high school having to play these scenes. I recall the late John Berandino the patriarch of the show as one of the… Read more »

Kit
Guest
Kit

As I recall, GH revisited that story line in recent years and actually showed Luke and Laura having an adult discussion about it and Luke admitting he was wrong and had raped her.

Iakovos
Guest
Iakovos

I remember the storyline and even then as a young man questioned the reformed rapist turn, a trope still employed. I applaud redemption in characters but this approach still bothers me. The lens of today really puts it a more negative light. I am thrilled Ms Francis and Laura Collins remain on canvas I meaningful ways. I always wanted Laura to be forefront, a pillar. The series has shifted with so many new characters, what legacy we have needs to be cherished.

Fginaspy
Guest
Fginaspy

It was the storyline that made me decide not to watch GH until GL, ATWT and OLTL were taken off the air. I thought the Luke and Laura hype was not warranted. I was a Laura and Scotty fan. I still am. The Christmas 2022 scenes between them and Eliabeth showed such history between the two characters and actors too.

General Hospital

General Hospital Alum Annie Wersching Dead at 45

In very sad news on Sunday, actress Annie Wersching, who starred in the series 24, Bosch and Timeless, and portrayed Amelia Joffe on General Hospital, passed away this morning from cancer.  Annie was only 45-years-0ld.

Deadline broke the news of Annie’s death.  In a statement, Wersching’s husband, actor Stephen Full, shared: “There is a cavernous hole in the soul of this family today. But she left us the tools to fill it. She found wonder in the simplest moment. She didn’t require music to dance. She taught us not to wait for adventure to find you. ‘Go find it. It’s everywhere.’ And find it we shall. As I drove our boys, the true loves of her life, down the winding driveway and street, she would yell BYE! until we were out of earshot and into the world. I can still hear it ringing. Bye my Buddie. ‘I love you little family…’ ”

Wersching’s first major role came as Amelia Joffe on General Hospital.  She played the role from May to September of 2007.  Amelia came to Port Charles to seek revenge on Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco) and wound up lovers with Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard).

Later, she went on to star as Renee Walker in Seasons 7 and 8 of 24.  She also appeared in The Vampire Diaries, Runaways, Extant, and The Rookie.  One of her last roles was in Star Trek: Picard which came two decades after she made her screen acting debut in an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise.

Annie is survived by her husband and children children Freddie, 12; Ozzie, and Archie, 4.

Share your condolences and remembrances for Annie in the comment section.  But first, check out some scenes from her time on General Hospital below.

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General Hospital

Kelly Thiebaud Opens Up on Her Exit from General Hospital, Taping Britt’s Tragic Death Scenes, and Parting Thoughts on Co-Stars

Just a few weeks ago on the January 4th episode of General Hospital, viewers were left devastated when Dr. Britt Westbourne succumbed to a fatal poisoning after a confrontation with ‘The Hook’.

While it was revealed that Daytime Emmy winner, Kelly Thiebaud, was exiting the ABC soap opera at the end of 2022, many thought the story would see Britt leaving Port Charles to deal with her declining health due to Huntington’s Disease in private, in order to keep the door open for a possible return down the line.  However, that was not meant to be.  When a report from Deadline surfaced back in August of 2022, it indicated that Kelly was returning to her primetime role on ABC’s Station 19, which caused some confusion and rumors of just what would Thiebaud’s ultimate status be with the daytime drama series.

Photo: ABC

Now, in a very special exit interview for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, Kelly chats with Michael Fairman and clarifies what led to her decision to leave her role as Dr. Britt Westbourne.

Talking with Fairman direct from London, Kelly, who won a Daytime Emmy in 2022 for the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, reveals how it came to pass that GH would kill-off the character of Britt by becoming another victim of ‘The Hook’, and more.

Photo: KThiebaudIG

During the conversation, Thiebaud shares her thoughts on working with her former GH co-stars including: Steve Burton (ex-Jason), Parry Shen (Brad), Kirsten Storms (Maxie), Kathleen Gati (Liesl), Cassandra James (Terry), Roger Howarth (Austin) and Josh Kelly (Cody), as well as some of her favorite memories throughout her run on the series which began in 2012.

Photo: ABC

Kelly took the character from being the manipulative ‘Britch’ as an interloper in the romance of Patrick (Jason Thompson) and Sabrina (Teresa Castillo), all the way to becoming a well-loved character to root for.

Courtesy/ABC

While, GH viewers witnessed Britt’s shocking death scenes, Kelly weighs-in on taping those moments, as well as Britt’s emotional goodbye birthday party, and having the opportunity to portray a character who was trying to navigate her life, while suffering from the effects of Huntington’s Disease.

In addition, Thiebaud gives a very special ‘thank you’ and shout out to the fans for their enduring support as she looks forward to new roles and new adventures ahead.

Photo: NATAS

Check out our heartfelt farewell interview with Kelly below, and for upcoming celebrity features, interviews, event coverage, music videos, and more, make sure to ‘subscribe‘ to the Michael Fairman Channel.

So, what did you think about Kelly’s decision to depart GH? Will you miss her as Britt? Share your thoughts on our conversation in the comment section below.

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General Hospital

Denise Crosby Makes a Return to General Hospital

After a major fallout with her parents, Carolyn (Denise Crosby) and Jeff Webber (William R. Moses), Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) was devastated, in particular because they concocted a plan to make her forget all about the tragic situation earlier in her life. That being, when Finn’s (Michael Easton) late wife, Reiko, fell down a flight of steps and eventually died after she struggled with Liz.

Apparently, the story is not over, when Denise Crosby reprises her role of Carolyn beginning the week of January 23rd on General Hospital.

Talking about her return in the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest on newsstands now, Crosby previewed, “She (Carolyn) wants to make a connection with her daughter and try to make amends for something that is almost impossible to make amends for. She knows it could go really wrong, but she can’t live with herself if she doesn’t take the shot.”

Photo: ABC

Something tells us there is more to the story of why Carolyn could have returned to Port Charles? Any thoughts?

Let us know your theories about Elizabeth’s mother upcoming return to Port Charles in the comment section below.

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